The Vikings have considered a whole host of names in their search for a new head coach, from Mike Zimmer to Todd Bowles to Darrell Bevell to Ray Horton, but there’s one guy they’ve missed, at least according to Sid Hartman. And it’s a guy who is right under their own nose.
Sid Hartman believes that offensive line coach Jeff Davidson deserves to at least be interviewed for the head coaching job. And you know what? For once I think the old bugger might be right on.
Hartman lays out a pretty compelling case for Davidson at least being as qualified as the other guys who’ve been interviewed. Davidson has long experience working for a pretty impressive array of coaches, including Bill Belichick and John Fox. He has been massively successful in his own right, particularly as a designer of running schemes.
Davidson is credited with resurrecting the career of Corey Dillon in New England, and with designing the scheme that helped make Carolina a playoff contender. He came to the Vikings and designed the run scheme that allowed Adrian Peterson to rush for over 2,000 yards.
Stack Davidson’s resume up against Mike Zimmer’s resume, or Todd Bowles’ or Darrell Bevell’s or Dan Quinn’s or any of these other guys, and it’s hard to argue that Davidson doesn’t at least deserve a shot.
So why isn’t Davidson getting a shot?
This is a good question. Perhaps Rick Spielman just doesn’t believe that Davidson is head coach material. The Vikings have had Davidson on their staff since 2011 and are certainly familiar enough with him by now. Maybe there’s something about him that just doesn’t scream head coach.
Maybe Spielman is just dead-set on hiring a defensive guy to be head coach. Both the reported top candidates, Zimmer and Bowles, come from defensive backgrounds.
Perhaps Spielman has something else in mind for Davidson, like a possible promotion to offensive coordinator. Davidson served as OC in Carolina and could be viewed as an in-house option to succeed Bill Musgrave. This would explain Spielman’s refusal to grant Davidson permission to interview with Atlanta for their offensive line coach vacancy, a vacancy that was quickly filled by former Vikings head coach Mike Tice.
Davidson is reportedly angry with Spielman over the GM’s refusal to let him interview for the Atlanta job. But maybe Davidson is mad about more than that. Maybe he’s ticked off over not being considered for the head coach position.
It certainly seems that Davidson is hot to get out of Minnesota. Things are in flux there. The future is very uncertain. You can’t blame guys for wanting to at least interview other places. But as long as they’re under contract to the Vikings, Spielman holds their fate in his hands.
Things won’t begin to settle down in Minnesota until a head coach is hired. Then the process can begin of going through the assistants and deciding who should stay and who should go.
Jeff Davidson should at least be on the list for consideration as head coach, but right now he’s stuck in Spielman-created limbo with Bill Musgrave, Alan Williams, Mike Priefer and the rest of Leslie Frazier’s former staff. And that’s probably not fair to Davidson.